create a new profession: farmer depolleur by BAMBOO FOR LIFE
Allow farmers who have low yields with their conventional productions to increase it by growing bamboo to exploit all its characteristics.
Farmland has yield declines with climate deregulation. Bamboo can be exploited for its exceptional virtues in order to increase the profitability of the agricultural lands and to give an additional income to the farmers.
The Start up Bamboo for Life brings innovative and environmental solutions in 4 domains:
- Wastewater treatment using Bambou-Assainissement® patent: zero sewage sludge and zero waste into nature, it's unique in the world.
- Pollution reduction: up to 60 tons of CO2 / ha / year sequestered
- Bioclimatic cooling in an open environment: the air is cooled down to -20 ° C
- Bamboo biomass valorization: up to 100 tons of biomass / ha / year. The aim is to find an alternative to fossil fuels and to exploit biomass in multiple sectors of activity (construction, plastics, biogas, biofuels, pellets ...)
Bamboo For Life operates the Bambou-Assainissement® patent validated by the French Water Agency and the French Ministry of the Environment.
The ambition of Bamboo For Life is to revolutionize the use of wastewater treatment systems by allowing all populations regardless of their conditions (birth, life, PCS, income, habitat, continent ...) to have access to drinking water and sanitation.
It’s a question of transforming the current constraint of the reprocessing of wastewater (generation of treatment sludge) into a formidable opportunity (creation of bamboo biomass, result of the treatment) with a very strong profitability and a positive action for the planet.
By setting up these treatment plants, the farmer will have several sources of income.
Initiated by Unesco and UN, access to water and sanitation have become fundamental rights. The European Parliament has also guaranteed this access to drinking water. Bamboo For Life wants to be a player in this awareness and is committed to implementing this sanitation at a lower cost. It's time to act.
Is this proposal for a practice or a project?
What actions do you propose?
We propose a breaking technology by offering in a unique bouquet, 4 services including 2 climatic regulators:
1) A wastewater treatment plant
Water is today a rare and precious commodity. It must be preserved.
We work for environmentally friendly wastewater management that reduces diseases related to poor hygiene. We are creating wastewater treatment plants that are real lungs within cities that allow biodiversity to grow. We reduce urbanization of cities by placing bamboo plantations in and around cities, creating islands of greenery. It's about redesigning the city of tomorrow.
2) A carbon sequestration plant
The air is polluted and CO2 causes respiratory diseases and deaths.
We propose to capture carbon in very large quantities by implanting bamboo plantations, real CO2 sequestration station.
3) A bioclimatic cooling plant in an open environment
Rising temperature is a major international concern.
Our plants offer a very important decrease of the temperature and an increase of the humidity of the air in the places where they are established.
We propose not to create gigantic stations but instead to subdivide the stations at the level of neighborhoods and districts in order to crisscross the cities by refreshed areas and thus create a refreshed atmosphere. This principle also works in peri-urban areas and allows to vegetate the desert areas.
4) A biomass production and valorization plant
Fossil energies are increasingly difficult to extract from soils. Their rarefaction is attested and their disappearance programmed.
We propose a viable alternative to the use of fossil fuels by exploiting the result of the production of the depollution: the bamboo.
This biomass has exceptional qualities that gives it the ability to be a fuel with a very high heat capacity (it is placed just under the coal). It can be used in multiple sectors of activity: clothing, plastics, building, thermal power plants, biofuel, forestry ...
Bamboo biomass can reduce oil consumption for desalination of seawater, electricity production, furniture manufacturing, etc. Finally, activated bamboo charcoal can be produced to detoxify pollutants.
These four stations are in fact only one but playing these four roles!
The vocation of Bamboo for Life is to deploy its solution on the whole planet. In fact, the various businesses developed by the company make it possible to have an establishment regardless of the geographical position. Each project is made locally: labor and materials are local.
Finally, the technology easily adapts to local resources and constraints. There is a very strong duplicability and provide farmers with new sources of income.
The founders of Bamboo for Life are all very strongly convinced that it is possible to change the way companies in the environmental sector look at the fact that they can enrich themselves while contributing to the well-being of citizens.
The technology of Bamboo For Life is at the service of the collective while finding an economic balance.
Local and regional authorities have realized that it is time to act.
The founders want to give a social and societal dimension to their actions and create OPEN whose mission is to help the regions (in developing countries zone) that have difficulties to access water. The international context is very favorable to the emergence of solutions advocated by Bamboo for Life: awakening governments, organization of world events such as COP 21,22,23,24, warning associations of nature ...
This context is related to current issues: increased drought and temperatures, pollution and diseases related to unsanitary water in hot and undeveloped countries.
The founders of Bamboo for Life want to be part of an intelligent approach to overcome these problems and achieve a performance at the same time economic, social and environmental. The process requires a projection into the practices of the future and a desire to overturn the established codes.
The innovation clusters offered by the competitors in the four business areas are incorporated into a one-stop shop by the company, giving it a head start and being competitive.
An exemple of concret work
We have 4 skills: wastewater treatment, carbon sequestration, bioclimatic cooling and biomass production.
Here is an example on wastewater treatment:
The University of Urdaneta City in the Philippines needed to implement wastewater treatment for the 12,000 students on this 3-hectare campus.
The program consisted of placing sanitation and make students aware of better management of water resources.
The water effluents came from the canteen, the workshops and the toilets and poured into the 14 septic tanks that were not watertight (problems of direct infiltration into the water table) causing clogging and overflow in the rainwater network thus causing major health and odor problems.
The stages of the construction:
- Identification of wastewater production points
- Topographic study of the site
- Creation of a general network throughout the university
- Wastewater collection, pumping with intensive filter of 500 m2 and drainage network
- Creation of a waterproof concrete tank using labor and local materials
- Establishment of a bamboo breeding nursery at the beginning of the program in order to be transplanted the following year to the treatment site.
Water effluents pass through an extensive filter and are treated by bamboo plantation causing bamboo production and evapotranspiration. The treatment ensures zero rejection in the natural environment.
Part of the treated water is reused (reuse) with a return in the buildings thanks to a second circuit of water to feed the flushing of the toilets.
This bamboo plant of 1000 m2 (500 m2 in intensive and 500 m2 in extensif) allowed the total stop of the discharges of effluents in the rivers and stopped the direct contact of the dirty water by the farmers contributing to reduce water diseases.
Bamboo For Life is a forerunner with a new urban vision that allows to see the city differently: instead of disfiguring landscapes by treatment plants, the company is determined to develop the space by creating green islands in both urban and peri-urban areas: the conventional sanitation plant is replaced by a green and natural area, a real landscaping, odorless, incredibly efficient and providing a lung of oxygen to resilient cities.
Competitive advantages of technology
Bamboo-assainissement® technology meets the climatic challenges par excellence:
- It’s a very energy-saving technology that preserves fossil fuels.
- It’s very respectful of the natural environment. It’s the only technology in the world that does not generate sewage sludge at the end of treatment. Conventional plants inevitably generate sewage sludge at the end of the treatment process that is either buried or burned. Bamboo-assainissement® technology generates zero sewage sludge. It does not pollute the environment.
- It does not use any chemicals, the whole process respects nature and is natural.
- By playing its role as a wastewater purifier, bamboo will grow and become a recoverable resource (biomass) with multiple yields.
- It redraws the landscape because we see a bamboo plantation and not a concrete treatment plant
- At the architectural level, the resort is a bamboo plantation that fits nicely with the landscape and not an industrial and concrete complex. It’s greening the city of the future.
- At the air level, it purifies the atmosphere by capturing CO2 in a very important way. It's a real carbon trap: up to 60 tons of CO2 per hectare per year.
-In relation to the temperatures, it refreshes the area in which bamboo are planted very importantly: a drop to -20 ° Celsius.
- At the level of the result of the depollution, there is no sludge but in contrast bamboos, source of a very important biomass generating income: up to 100 tons of biomass per hectare and per year.
- This biomimetic effect causes a bouquet of well-being for the population.
- There is a strong replicability, in developed countries and in developing countries.
Ultimately this unique technology transforms a constraint (wastewater treatment) into four positive externalities for the environment: wastewater treatment without sewage sludge production, open bioclimatic cooling, carbon sequestration, biomass production and valorization.
Societal dimension and impact
we want to set up partnerships:
- Internship in relation with the educational system to raise awareness on the environmental and innovative dimension of the profession of farmer-skimmer by training the farmers of tomorrow.
- close cooperation with all stakeholders in the biomass valorization sector (for example with thermal power stations, producers of composite materials, activated charcoal producers, etc.), with companies that buy carbon credit and want to engage in a "polluter actor" approach through local carbon sequestration.
Socially Responsible Investment is one of our priorities.
In order to broaden the use of this technology to the non-market sphere, we have created the association OPEN (Organization for Water and Nature- Organisation Pour l’Eau et la Nature) with the aim of allowing access to sanitary water in developing countries.
OPEN offers its services to low-income groups (farmers in developed countries, Africa and Asia) and finds its financing thanks to the Oudin-Santini law.
Local and regional authorities have the right to use up to 1% of their budget in development programs in developing countries through actions outside territorial communities.
OPEN locates communities that need wastewater treatment, implements the solution and manages grant applications.
Our goal is clearly displayed: for each wastewater treatment plant sold or operated in the developed nations by Bamboo For Life, a plant is installed in developing country by OPEN.
Our customers are:
- Regarding the treatment of wastewater: municipalities in the context of their sanitation, universities, hospitals, agro-food industries, wine industry, hotel sector ...
- About carbon sequestration: all countries and cities that encounter pollution problems with a desire to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
- Concerning bioclimatic cooling: all countries that have a need for bioclimate cooling in an open environment
- For the creation of biomass: all private or public organizations that need biomass at low cost and very high calorific value.
Main achievements and number of customers
More than 50 plants are already using our wastewater treatment by bambou-assainissement®:
- Public sites such as Territorial Communities, universities, hospitals…
- Private sites such as farmers, industrial and food industry
In France, South America, Africa, Asia, Indian Ocean.
We got the validation of French National Agency (Agence de l'Eau) and Ministry of Environment.
We spent 3M€ in R&D and we own a patent Bambou-Assainissement®
The innovation lies in the extraordinary capacities of bamboo to answer 4 major climatic and environmental issues. A plant with unique virtues:
Through the entrance door of the wastewater treatment by Bambou-assainissement® technology, we access a range of 4 trades:
- Wastewater treatment by bambou-assainissement®: zero discharge into the natural environment and zero sewage sludge (the only technology in the world that allows it). Sequestration capacity of metallic trace elements and radionuclide. Nitrogen phosphorus treatment. Improvement on bacterial consortium.
- Carbon sequestration: up to 60 tons of CO2 / ha / year
- Reduction of temperatures: up to -20 degrees Celsius, depending on the area
- Production of a large quantity of biomass: up to 100 tons of biomass / ha / year with a high heat capacity and a calorific power around 5400 kWh / kg (just below the coal).
Who will take these actions?
The authorities at the highest level must take up the challenge and encourage the actors on the ground to act by planting bamboos and taking advantage of the exceptional qualities of the latter to: - sanitize wastewater - sequestering carbon - valorize biomass - refresh the atmosphere.
Also the agro-food industries must treat their wastewater by this ecological method
Where will these actions be taken?
The technology Bambou-Assainissement (in french) is exploitable for small towns or large cities. From a few hundred people up to several hundred thousand. It works in town and in the countryside with impeccable results.
In addition, specify the country or countries where these actions will be taken.
What impact will these actions have on greenhouse gas emissions and/or adapting to climate change?
All of Bamboo For Life's action is geared to meeting the challenges of climate change in both developed and developing countries.
We want to participate in the necessary reconfiguration of cities to face the coming decades by taking into account the heat, pollution, drought and the scarcity of fossil fuels.
Our approach is a projection into the practices of the future to implement urgently.
At the water level:
- A response to new human rights: access to water and sanitation (UNICEF, UN and Europe)
- Ecological sanitation without sewage sludge
At the level of the air:
- Improved air quality and reduced pollution through carbon sequestration
- A decrease in respiratory diseases
At the climate level:
- Refreshment in an open environment
- A creation of cool islands in the city center and a biodiversity in the periphery
At the level of biomass:
- A significant amount of biomass, source of renewable, affordable and abundant combustible
- A variety of possible uses of biomass: construction, plastics, textile, biofuel, pellets ...
We are able today to:
- Treat wastewater in a vegetal and biological way by guaranteeing a purifying effectiveness validated by the French Water Agency
- Green cities by parceling plants. This greenbelt brings biodiversity to the city. We can also vegetate desert areas.
- Sequester carbon in large quantities
- Cooling the climate, a side effect of greening. It is a measure of adaptation to climate change
- Create low-cost, exploitable biomass in many industries through its extraordinary capabilities. This biomass will reduce oil consumption for desalination of seawater. Finally, activated bamboo charcoal can be produced to decontaminate the soil.
Our vision of the city of the future is simple: turn problems (wastewater and sanitation) into 4 resources by implementing a biomimetic effect: copying nature in what it has most efficient.
This new vision of wastewater treatment plants combines the benefits and improves the quality of life.
Result: the building is autonomous in terms of sanitation, it is greening and fits nicely in the landscape. It is protected from heat with bamboo on the roof and in the balconies and sequester carbon. It creates biomass and is part of the new biodiversity expected by cities.
This solution works for domestic buildings but also for industrial buildings.
This solution makes sense and echoes:
- the awakening of governments (COP 21,22,23,24 ...)
- the action of nature conservation associations
- the increase in drought, temperatures, pollution and endemic diseases linked to unsanitary waters in hot and undeveloped countries.
What are other key benefits?
This bouquet of environmental well-being shapes the city of tomorrow that must be put to work by enabling direct attenuation of climate change.
And all that by allowing the farmer to have new income.
This requires a paradigm shift: from the polluter-payer to the polluter-actor.
Instead of clearing customs with a right to pollute paid, the polluter operates 4 effects, with the same euro spent: water depollution, carbon sequestration, bioclimatic cooling and creation of biomass.
This implantation of islets of bamboos meets 4 goals:
- localized treatment of wastewater,
- carbon sequestration as close as possible to emission sources,
- a refresh of buildings and factories,
- creation of green spaces, source of biodiversity.
Several functions are implemented: biological treatment of wastewater, aesthetic appearance, freshness creation, carbon reduction and exploitation of the treatment result: a biomass that can be used in many sectors thanks to its exceptional characteristics (long fiber more resistant than iron and steel, very high LCV -Lower Caloric Value- and very strong combustibility ...).
We wish to complete the Positive Energy Building system by placing on the roofs of buildings wastewater treatment plants in order to make the building self-sufficient from the point of view of sanitation.
What are the proposal’s projected costs?
the cost of a wastewater treatment plant is 30% lower than that of a conventional station. The running cost is also 30% lower than that of a conventional station. Added to this are the other features gained and the development of bamboo biomass that will generate additional income for the farmer or the landowner who will no longer abandon his land but will see new income opportunities there. , thus creating biodiversity.
In the short term there will be sewage treatment and reduction of water-related diseases (UN target with its Sustainable Development Goals), reforestation of land, biodiversity, carbon sequestration, a bioclimatic cooling and an abundant exploitation of the biomass. In the medium term, carbon will be even more trapped, leading to an improvement in air quality and a decrease in respiratory diseases. In the long term, thanks to Bamboo-Assainissemnt, the farmers will be able to:
- Treat wastewater and provide sanitation to everyone everyware
- Reduce fossil energy needs by producing huge quantity of renewable biomass
- Decresae carbon footprint by sequestering carbon through bambou
- Refresh the area locally by two combined effects : canopy and adiabatic
- Depollute the soils
- Preserve the natural water ressource by eliminating pollution inputs
- Recharge the water table on treated water
- Fight against soil erosion : root stabilization thanks to the dense rhizome of bamboos
- Allow productive reforestation
- Create favorable habitat to the development of biodiversity
- Improve quality of life (reduce water and air diseases, vegetalize urban environment…)
- Make sustainable development become a lever for growth of the economy.
Many sources of income
About the author(s)
Bernard Benayoun: CEO and shareholder / 50 years old / Graduate from school Boulle. Higher School of the Trades of Art, Interior Architecture and Design.
Expert in Bamboo, water treatment by phytoremediation (Bambou-assainissement ®).